Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 Often times, when a team or a sponsor finds out that not only do both Shaun and I like soccer, but I was once a professional soccer player ( way back in the day),  they offer us tickets to some local games. Now, sometimes those games could be a semi-pro team, a women's recreational team or a near pick-up game, to which we politely either go, or 'unfortunately' have something to do that exact time, darn.  In all of our years over here, we have never really lived close to a team that interested us into going to see a game. That changed a few years ago.  Before we were in Toulon, we were about an hour west of here in a small city called Fos sur mer for a few months. If you look it up on the map, actually... don't, you will have a hard time finding it, that is how small it is. However, it was only 35 minutes from Marseille and when we were given the chance to go to a OM (Olympic Marseille)game, we took it. And this wasn't any ordinary game either. It was a game that if OM won, they would clinch the championship for the first time in 17 years so we were doubly excited to see not only the game but the atmosphere. Shaun's coach went with us, which was a huge help, considering 55,000 people were going to the game and the stadium is smack dab in the center of Marseille, which is a cluster as it is. The weather stunk, it was May and was colder than it is today in January, but we were prepared and when you have that many people so close, it seems a lot warmer. OM won 3-1 and it was an 'experience' to say the least. We stuck around for the celebration for about 40 minutes after the game to take in the atmosphere and watch the fireworks. Then we called it a night, guess we are not 'true' fans. Rumor has it, the 'true' fans went down to the Vieux Port and jumped in the ice cold water.  Think it's safe to say there were a lot of 'sick days' taken the next day and I have a feeling the celebration continued long into that night and may still be going on 2 years later in some households.
{Lighting flares after a goal}

     One of the many highlights of the nights was when we were exiting the stadium and as it was starting to get a little rowdy, a TV crew came over to my mom and tried to interview her. I am assuming the blond hair in the sea of dark was like a light a moth couldn't resist. So the man rattled off a question then shoved the microphone in her face and as I am just leaning into to tell them she does not speak French, she screamed out "Viva Marseille!!!" and slowly retreated as all the kids try to climb all over each other to get on TV. I have to admit, I was a little impressed and relieved that she didn't just spit off her 'go to' French lines that she remembers from grammar school which is "de donc, ou est la bibliotheque? C'est tout droit......"--which translates into,' so, where is the library? It is straight ahead.....'  We have yet to go back for fear that it will be a let down after our first experience but it is on our 'bucket list' of things to do before this year is over. Here are some pics of the atmosphere, and since you can't really grasp everything with pictures, we added videos also. And yes, it was that crazy the entire game.

{Close to the end of the game..notice all the security}

Sorry for the dodgy camera work, the stadium was shaking. The first video is after a goal, and the second is about 30 minutes after the game with fans still singing.

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